On the first day of the week, Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning, while it was still dark, and saw the stone removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them, “They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don’t know where they put him.” So Peter and the other disciple went out and came to the tomb. They both ran, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter and arrived at the tomb first; he bent down and saw the burial cloths there, but did not go in. When Simon Peter arrived after him, he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there, and the cloth that had covered his head, not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place. Then the other disciple also went in, the one who had arrived at the tomb first, and he saw and believed. For they did not yet understand the Scripture that he had to rise from the dead.
On Easter Sunday, I’m often reminded of the image of two Men running in robes and sandals to an empty tomb. Just imagine that image for a minute. The women who found the tomb and Peter & John are literally freaking-out. Jesus’ Body was gone and they didn’t yet realize that He had risen from the dead. Imagine the shock for Mary, the Apostles, the 500, and on and on that witnessed Jesus risen!? Often, people will question whether or not Heaven is real – including whether or not Jesus ever existed. Here’s the simple truth, why would so many people voluntarily go to their deaths for a lie? Eleven of the twelve Apostles went to brutal deaths with the opportunity to recant their Belief in the Risen King to save their own lives. In fact, it is estimated that by 313 A.D., almost 2 million people were martyred for their Christian Faith and, today, it is also estimated that 160,000 Christians are martyred each year around the world. And, why would Saul, who was killing Christians as a Jewish Pharisee (Priest), turn 180 degrees and become one of the Cornerstones of Christianity’s Birth. Within one chapter of the Book of Acts in the Bible, Saul goes from persecuting Christians to being persecuted himself by the Jews (under the new name of Paul)!? That’s like Osama Bin Laden coming out of the caves of Afghanistan and becoming the Pope!? But, perhaps listening to Christians talk about Jesus seems biased? Pliny the Younger, a Roman governor in Egypt, wrote in 111 A.D., “The Christians declared their guilt was only for meeting each week at dawn to honor Christ as God and to reaffirm their commitment to live Godly lives. He goes on to torture two slave women who won’t denounce Christ.” Not only were people not denouncing that Jesus had risen, but Pliny is referring to two (2) female slaves in Egypt! The Word through the Apostles and the Christianity Movement had reached Egypt and even slave women died for Jesus – in those days, a slave was a degree above a leper on the social scales and women were considered lower than any men! Here’s the Truth, no matter what the world tells you, Jesus lived, was crucified, and rose again. But, beyond what was written in this blog, we should all seek the Truth of what happened at Calvary; and, Jesus will more than reveal Himself to us. It’s a choice if we decide to not even look into Jesus, but why wouldn’t we all do so? Even if we’re a “luke-warm” Believer? So, in a Spirit of Love, I’m asking anyone that reads this to seek, listen, and open your hearts to an unbiased look at Jesus. It will be the Greatest Choice that anyone ever makes in their lives. The Promise is that we won’t be disappointed with what we find!